Some cars should never have made it past the design stage. Whether they are gas-guzzling monsters, too ugly to exist, have safety issues, or simply don’t make sense when on the road, some cars were better off as ideas than in actual production. The automotive industry had long experimented with models that fail or don’t perform to expected standards, some of these are test cases to see what the market will accept and others are pet projects that executives hope to take off and start new trends. These 5 top our list for the worst cars in the world.
The Fiat 500L
One of the only cars in the world to receive universally bad remarks across the board, the Fiat 500L might just be the worst car ever made. Early reviewers noted that the seats of this car are completely flat, making it hard to drive for any reasonable distance, the frame itself gets in the way of comfortably operating the vehicle, and most owners say that operating the car is physically uncomfortable at the best of times.
A small hatchback, this car had potential, and actually had a lot of hype behind it when it launched in 2012. Response to this car was so bad that production and sales in North America for the entire 500 lines were discontinued in 2020, with current stock expected to sell out by 2021. The unfortunate automobile is still available in markets outside of North America, where it enjoys a small but loyal following.
The Subaru 360
Originally developed for Japanese markets where size and weight requirements were subject to much heavier restrictions than North American markets, this car had a strange design even for the markets of the 1960s. Lacking in most key safety features, it was simply viewed as an extremely cheap car without many of the bells and frills of the time period.
Marketing in North America even focused on this vehicle being cheap but ugly, winning it points for brutal honesty if nothing else.
Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang
This beautiful car comes with loads of options, handles like a dream, and has surprisingly high safety ratings for a Mustang. Overall it sounds like a dream purchase, but that’s before you take a look at the efficiency ratings for this beast. At only 14mpg at the height of its performance, this car is on par with European luxury cars for gas-guzzling potential. This alone would normally not be enough to land a car on this list, but Ford cars are known to be reliable and are often marketed to buyers who value peak performance and longevity. The gas efficiency of this car continues to decline when used off-road, under conditions common on rural roads, or even for long periods of time. This makes the GT-500 a betrayal of the core values that people expect from Ford, making it a car we wouldn’t recommend buying.
Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT
With a tail-end that can only be described as bulbous and poor handling capacity, this limo chassis based SUV might be one of the worst car designs in history. Loaded with strange features such as a partial opening back panel for strange-sized items, questionable gas mileage, and an inability to choose a window design, it’s no a surprise this model only lasted a few years before being retired for more traditional offerings.
Made in the Czech Republic, this car is known as a deathtrap in most automotive circles. Capable of reaching 100mph in the 1930s, it outpaced all other cars, putting them to shame. Popular among rich people both before and after the war, it was the subject of many death investigations and is the reason for many safety laws in Germany and beyond. Poor handling combined with high speed, a heavy engine, and a frame that made it nearly impossible to exit the vehicle after a collision made this interesting car much more deadly than other offerings at the time.
While speed was a contributing factor in most of these deaths, the inability of this car to handle tight turns and poor traction in the rain added to the overall death toll.